PAYETTE — Bogged down by too much stuff? Winter blues got you down? Perhaps you’d be interested in joining the evergrowing nationwide minimalism movement. This involves cleaning out your closet of any item that doesn’t immediately “spark joy.” Minimalism has even hit the Western Treasure Valley. Youth Ranch locations in Ontario and Payette have seen an uptick of 35 percent increased donations compared to this time in 2018. And in Boise, locations have seen upwards of 150 percent increase, according to Richard Cline Sr., director of Social Enterprise at Idaho Youth Ranch, Boise.

The boom in donations and cleaning out closets is thanks mostly to viewers binge-watching Netflix’s hit show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” The show was a follow-up to Kondo’s 2011 best selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The nationwide embrace of minimalism featuring extreme sparseness and simplicity has spurred enthusiasts to empty their closets, donate their gently used stuff, and be happy doing it. If you haven’t started spring cleaning yet, it’s never too late.

The first week of January was the strongest donation week of any so far in 2019, and Cline said it was even busier than December when people usually rush to donate items so they can claim write-offs on income taxes. Cline said Idaho Youth Ranch was having a really good year with inventory — up double-digits over the prior year. Thankfully, the influx of donations hasn’t caused staffing issues, and the Youth Ranch revamped its warehouse operations in summer of 2018, to absorb the influx of donations. More donations mean more sales, more sales send additional money which can be funneled to programs.

Cline heard about “Tidying Up,” and noted it was a cultural phenomenon. Increased donations this year having been, “a great problem to have.” Cline insisted organizers can always use more awesome gently used stuff and the minimalism movement was helping increase valley wide store sales.

Cline thinks donations will continue to move upwards through spring and summer, encompassing its mission “The Idaho Youth Ranch provides troubled children a bridge to a valued, responsible and productive future. We are a catalyst for positive change,” these donations will help Idaho children and families. The Idaho Youth Ranch locations throughout the Treasure Valley will take gently used items, and only have a short list of items they don’t want (used mattresses, old tires, and televisions with tubes.)

The thrift store sees the most traffic in its women’s clothing sales. Mens clothing and shoes sections never seem to have enough in stock. Cline said more men need to watch “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.”


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